INTERVIEW Kailash Kher on Sufi music, spirituality and social change
Mystical and mesmerising are the closest you can come while describing the aura Kailash Kher creates when he sings.
On the sidelines of the concluding session regarding ‘Global Consciousness’ organised by Spice Global, Kailash speaks about music, spirituality and society.
How do you find the balance between Bollywood and Sufi music?
Work is worship to me and music is divine. My belief in the divinity of music is reflected through my emotions, expressions and voice while singing and hence music is a very intimate, inner and personal feeling to me. So, for me, there is no difference between Bollywood and Sufi music.
Classical music is said to be on a decline, particularly among the youth. What is your take on that?
Well, I have a contrary belief. Ever since 2002, my fans have largely been the youth and they have followed my music regularly be it in the Bollywood or classical form. I also attribute my success to the growth of the Internet and one does know it is youngsters who constitute the dominant part of the users. So, I believe that youngsters do like classical music and my success can be an apt example.
West and East have always been thought to be diametrically opposite. What about their music?
Music and love are universal expressions. As one cannot differentiate between love on the basis of direction, you can’t dissect music as Western or Eastern. Generic division may be possible but they have the same origin. Some rhythms of African and Rajasthani music coincide with each other and it reiterates the fact that music is divine and one. My belief is that folk music belongs to the entire world rather than a region. The tree of music may have different branches but each shares the root with the others and each is fruitful and rewarding.
How would you describe the connection between music and spirituality?
Spirituality, according to me, is determined by what you and your deeds are. Your character is an important precursor to spirituality and music is the mirror. Music, hence, is the reflection of spirituality. The more you are pure at heart, the better your music is. Music is the purest gift of God to mankind.
You are also known for active participation in civil movements. How do you feel about the recent civil agitations, particularly in Delhi?
Whatever is happening is an indicator of an inevitable change that is about to happen in our society which should be dealt with sensibly, sympathetically and with kindness. A simultaneous change in the inner character of an individual is also required and a changed individual should volunteer to change the unchanged. We have to make sure that every one is a part of this change.
You have also been an active part of the Anna Hazare movement. Are you happy with the shape the movement has taken?
I am not an intelligent person as I make decisions from my heart. Annaji’s call was a call of truth and I obliged. I am not concerned with the result, I just believe in doing the right deed. I am emotional and I think it’s good to be one among all the intelligent people.
MUHAMMAD MUTAHHAR AMIN
Work is worship to me and music is divine